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Protecting Assets and Exposure in High Net Worth Divorce

Leslie Barrows
 | Published: 
March 15, 2022
 | Category: 
Divorce Finances

Protecting Assets and Exposure in High Net Worth Divorce: Old Money Wasn’t Accumulated by Luck

The best way to protect assets and financial exposure to divorce liability is not to get divorced. If, however, the best-laid plans have gone awry, there are plenty of ways to protect assets, investments, and properties from being devalued and/or distributed inequitably in a divorce.

Much to the chagrin of families split by divorce, there seems to be a culture portrayed in media and big industries that just like marriage, divorce, and child support are just ways of life. People online and in movies and television rarely show how important it is to fight to save the marriage and family unit, for the betterment of the children and all involved. And we rarely hear the stories of recently made single-parents one year afterward talking about how much better it is being divorced. Do we ever ask whether they have regrets, or could have done anything to work it out?

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Nevertheless, for some, divorce is the only option because the marriage is simply not salvageable. Some people are toxic, and their interpersonal relationships become beyond repair. For many, it can become important to end a marriage to protect oneself, one’s family, and one’s long-term financial interests. Whether money is new or old, it likely wasn’t obtained and preserved simply by luck. Rather, hard work and prudent decision-making were involved in building and preserving wealth.

In Southlake, high net worth families trust Barrows Firm attorneys like Leslie Barrows, for experience in navigating high-stakes divorces with high net worth issues and complex child custody concerns. Because of her experience helping families protect assets, attorney Barrows is frequently consulted for pre-marital agreements and post-marital agreements to preserve and protect personal and family property and financial interests.

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Know What You Both Have and Want Before Getting Married

Money and financial responsibility are common causes of marital discord and eventual divorce. Advising new Southlake divorce clients, attorney Barrows often hears what happens when one spouse is a saver and the other one is a spender. Financial responsibilities for successful business owners and family wealth managers are important. Discussing expectations for the future is important and everyone should know where they stand, especially if pre-marital agreements and family business agreements are controlling in the event of a divorce.

Especially when new couples marry and start raising families there can be stress about what to do with additional income as careers continue to take off and businesses produce income for the family. This is when the spender versus saver problem comes to light. Arguments happen when the saver plans to invest and save new income while the other spouse wants something to show for the fruits of efforts and work. Be ready to answer questions about “How we can have money but look like we are barely making it.”

Unfortunately, and as awful as it is to talk about money, if you are someone getting married and grew up very differently from your soon-to-be spouse, it is going to matter when money becomes a point of contention. Don’t put it up to luck, hoping the love vibes will power you through any problem no matter the size, rather be realistic, and be prepared for all inevitabilities.

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Pre-Marital Agreements and Post-Marital Agreements Protecting Assets and Exposure in Divorce

A fool and their money are soon parted when they fail to get a good pre-marital agreement. Go ahead and scoff at the anti-romantic idea of a legal document to anticipate your demise. Now moving forward with common sense, appreciate the value of knowing exactly where one stands in the event of a divorce. Look, nobody wants to get a divorce, and nobody ever thinks they are marrying the wrong person. The reality is life happens and if your marriage hits the rocks, and bleeds out, don’t lose your family life raft in the process.

Pre-marital agreements can be drafted to provide the distribution or non-distribution of assets personally, and in community property, as the parties desire. Note that child support and certain other common expenses are determined by Texas statutory law and cannot be avoided by contractual agreements.

Post-marital agreements are helpful when something happens after the couple is married and they decide them and the family should agree on their individual and collective rights to money and property. Often when the marriage is in trouble and divorce is foreseeable, a couple can solve certain disputes through post-marital agreements. And when a post-marital agreement can save a marriage, everyone comes out a winner.

When Never to Invade the Principal Assets or Sell Stocks in a High Net Worth Divorce  

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Common advice among those with old money is never invade your principal assets or baseline. Remember that money generates interest and more money when you grow it. Just remember to leave that principal amount alone, and only spend an amount of interest you plan to use as discretionary income. In a divorce, one might need to raise money to buy out the other’s interest in a property settlement. There are ways to come up with liquid cash without disturbing well-invested assets and interests generating money. Even a loan, secured, if necessary, is a better financial idea than disturbing principal assets.

Situations like this in high-net-worth divorce are the reason it becomes so important to hire the best divorce and financial professionals in your area, the people who know how not to lose money in a divorce.

Hiring The Best Divorce Lawyer and Experts for Protecting Assets

Targeted in divorce are those with money, especially if there are children involved. While there may be more work to do in a high-net-worth divorce case, it does not need to drag on forever. In many cases, inexperience in navigating complex financial issues leads to more resources than necessary spent in negotiating and protecting a client’s rights and financial interests. The experienced divorce attorney knows exactly when to hire experts and direct case strategy to the professionals who will get the best return on the investment of resources.

For example, in a family-owned business with complex assets and future financial interests, spending money on the right business valuation experts can help in negotiating the best result for the client and their family. Especially in North Texas, among high-net-worth families, people know which law firms get results and are worth of referrals.

Using Alternative Dispute Resolution to Shield Sensitive Family Information from Court Litigation

Protecting reputations, as well as the identification of assets and property, is important. While efforts are made to limit the information made public in divorce cases and filings, there are benefits to keeping private information out of court and using alternative dispute resolution to keep things private. The right mediators can help work with families in mediation to reach an agreement on certain issues so that the more important concerns can be properly litigated in court.

In not leaving your family’s best interests to luck, the Barrows Firm recommends making one’s own luck in the process and outcome of protecting assets and accumulated money and property. Whether working together in planning a new marriage, saving a troubled marriage, or managing strategy in divorce and litigation, Leslie Barrows, and the team of attorneys at the Barrows Firm are in your corner.

Seek Divorce and Family Law Counseling in Protecting Assets and Exposure and High Net Worth Divorce at the Barrows Firm in Southlake (817) 481-1583